Technology has never been so available and so affordable. For this reason, the home theatre is becoming a viable option for many Americans and many of them are turning that extra bedroom into a home theatre. Having a cool home theatre means your kids' friends are coming over and you get to be home base. It also means more family time and less money spent on movies at IMAX. Instead, stay home. Your screen is big and popcorn is much cheaper at home. Before you start buying stuff, though, it's smart to sit down and come up with a plan. Here's a list of things you'll want to consider before you spend a dime or clear a room.
1. How much do you want to spend?
Your home theatre can be as simple and inexpensive as a large television and a couple of speakers next it. Or it can be as elaborate as the theaters where you pay $10 for a ticket every time you visit. You can get a projector, theatre-style seats, and block out any light that can come into the room for a more authentic experience. It's important to have a budget in mind, though, because there are so many options.
2. What kind of equipment will I need?
Make a list of equipment you'll need and start doing your homework. You'll need the following to get started:
DVD player or computer. If you're going to use a television, you'll need a DVD player. If you're going to use a projector, you'll need a computer that you can connect to it.
Surge protector or line conditioner: Power outages can affect your system, so it is important to have a surge protector. If you're interested in regulating the power you use, you may also consider a line conditioner.
Connection cables and speaker wire: Everything needs to be connected. There's a wide range of costs when it comes to connection cables, but the most important thing is that you get the right type, the right length and that everything connects to the right outlet. Make sure that you're getting the right gauge depending on the distance between machines being connected. Really thin wire is not great to use for long distances.
Universal remote: You're going to be dealing with so many machines that keeping all of those similar looking remotes is going to be nothing short of a nightmare. Make the use of your theatre friendlier by finding a good universal remote to use.
Seating: Depending on your budget and aesthetic, you have a lot of options for home theatre seating. The most important thing is that the furniture is comfortable. You get a normal couch, or if you want to get theatre seating, there are some really cool options for furnishing your home theatre.
3. Do you want to set up the theatre yourself or have someone else do it?
Of course, the answer to this question is dependent upon your budget, but you might also consider your electronic abilities as a factor as well. It may take an expert one day to do what will take you two weeks…or something you could never successfully accomplish without some tech assistance. Consider making the attempt with the caveat that if you spend more than a few days, you'll hire a professional.
So you've made the decision to build a home theater. Just make sure that you sit down and make a plan. Consider all of the possibilities and then customize those to your budget and family needs.
Grace Lord writes for home design blogs and recommends checking out www.theaterseatstore.com when looking to purchase theater seating.